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      Long-term conservation and rehabilitation of threatened rain forest patches under different human population pressures in West Africa

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      Nature Conservation

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          The management schemes of four rain forest patches in southern Benin and south-western Nigeria, which led to the successful protection of numerous threatened plants and animals over the last 20 plus years, are analysed. Since climatic conditions are similar, tree composition depends largely on different availability of water and documented biodiversity mostly on the availability of taxonomic expertise. Management differs according to accessibility and human population pressure, from total closing off of the forest by an international institute near the mega-polis Ibadan to unmarked borders near Lanzron, a remote village in the lower Ouémé Valley, where foreigners are mostly excluded from visiting the site. In Benin, trees and wildlife (antelopes and monkeys) seem best protected where the local vodoun beliefs are adhered to. This is, however, not sufficient and development aid to support and benefit the local population is needed as exemplified in Zinvié. At the Ibadan and Drabo sites, long-term protection is assured by legally-binding land-titles. Since for all of Lanzron and part of Zinvié these are lacking securing them is a priority. In Ibadan, Nigeria, a major rehabilitation effort is concentrated on bringing relatively old grass land and former village sites under forest cover by planting local trees. Rehabilitation in Drabo, in southern Benin, relies on enriching the naturally occurring fallow succession with rare species from nearby threatened sacred forests. We demonstrate that reversing biodiversity loss is possible but requires a long-term commitment. Recommendations for protecting, stabilizing and enhancing similar small hotspots of biodiversity are made.

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          An understanding of agroecosystems is key to determining effective farming systems. Here we report results from a 21-year study of agronomic and ecological performance of biodynamic, bioorganic, and conventional farming systems in Central Europe. We found crop yields to be 20% lower in the organic systems, although input of fertilizer and energy was reduced by 34 to 53% and pesticide input by 97%. Enhanced soil fertility and higher biodiversity found in organic plots may render these systems less dependent on external inputs.
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            Who should pay for tropical conservation, and how could the costs be met?

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              Classical biological control for the protection of natural ecosystems

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Conservation
                NC
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-3301
                1314-6947
                December 08 2015
                December 08 2015
                : 13
                : 21-46
                Article
                10.3897/natureconservation.13.6539
                © 2015

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